Why is this concept so hard to understand?

Information wants to be free.

Seeking to control the information is passé.

RelatedWhat if Zillow is right?

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  1. Fred May 8, 2008 at 19:41

    Zillow is an intriguing tool. I’m looking for a house, and I use the various web tools.

    For instance:

    Went to an open house this past Sunday, listed for 342K. Realtor kept saying “It’s a FAIR PRICE. Charlottesville’s market isn’t impacted by declining values like the rest of the country.”

    (Oh, really? Charlottesville’s Bubble remains completely intact? :0) & Anyway, I wasn’t arguing.)

    But on Zillow, I find that the Tax Assessor thinks the property is worth 260K….

    And I also know what the last sale price was.

    So of course if I was to make an offer, I’d take this info into consideration.

  2. Pavel May 8, 2008 at 22:29

    Fred’s example above is exactly why one needs to dig deeper and beyond what any one commercial website offers. I like to think of it this way: where is the data coming from and can I get the information directly from the source. In this case, Zillow’s data is not current and the $260K assessment is not accurate. The current city assessed value of the property you are describing is $326,400. (I ran a search on actives at $342K and compared it to Zillows… I think I got the right house). Online city records for assessed values http://realestate.charlottesville.org/LandRover.asp
    should be more accurate compared to Zillow, Homegain, Cyberhomes, etc.

  3. Julie Emery May 9, 2008 at 09:46

    Zillow in many cases is inflating values more than any agent I know! The latest house I listed is shown in Zillow at over $50K above what it’s likely to sell for! I’m not worrying yet about Zillow replacing my knowledge of home values!

  4. Jim Duncan May 9, 2008 at 11:43

    Zillow’s home valuations don’t concern me (yet) – but the information that they, Trulia, Cyberhomes present around the listing data is crucial to their success.

    They offer more than just listings, and that is one of the reasons that agents and brokers send their listings there and why consumers go there.

    Put the best information out there and the consumers will find it, and likely trust it.

    The walled garden is opening and is becoming obsolete. Witness NYTimes’ “Select” and the WSJ’s impending opening.

    If it’s not findable by the search engines, it might as well not exist.

    We’re not Lexis-Nexis.


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